SAP Agrees to Acquire Fieldglass in Cloud-Computing Push

SAP AG agreed to acquire Fieldglass, a U.S. software supplier that specializes in managing contract workforces, furthering the German company’s push into Internet-based applications.

Fieldglass, whose programs help businesses oversee contract employees and projects, would complement earlier acquisitions of personnel software supplier SuccessFactors Inc. and online marketplace Ariba Inc., Walldorf, Germany-based SAP said today. Closely-held Fieldglass in 2010 received an investment from private-equity firm Madison Dearborn Partners LLC valuing the Chicago-based company at more than $220 million.

The deal is the latest in a string of takeovers by Co-Chief Executive Officers Bill McDermott and Jim Hagemann Snabe over the past four years in an attempt to vault SAP into the expanding market for cloud-computing tools delivered to customers online.

SAP, whose software is installed on thousands of companies’ servers and data centers, and Oracle Corp., its biggest rival in traditional enterprise software, have also been using acquisitions to challenge cloud-only providers such as Inc. and Workday Inc.

“Combining Fieldglass with SAP is a significant milestone in our strategy,” McDermott, who will take over as sole CEO in May, said in a statement.

U.S. Takeovers

Fieldglass, led by co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Jai Shekhawat, employs about 350 workers. SAP said it expects the transaction to be completed in the second quarter.

SAP rose 1.2 percent to close at 57.48 euros in Frankfurt. The stock has lost 7.8 percent this year, giving the company a market value of 70.6 billion euros.

Since 2010, SAP has spent more than $12 billion on takeovers in California’s Silicon Valley and elsewhere. In 2012, it picked up Sunnyvale-based procurement-software firm Ariba Inc. for $4.3 billion, along with cloud-software maker SuccessFactors Inc., based in San Mateo, for $3.3 billion.

The co-CEOs’ first big Valley deal came in 2010 with the $5.8 billion takeover of Bay Area database maker Sybase Inc.

While SAP has concentrated its cloud acquisitions on human-resources tools, Oracle, which already has a strong presence in personnel software thanks to its acquisition last decade of PeopleSoft, has been snapping up makers of online marketing tools. Oracle in February agreed to buy marketing data analysis company BlueKai Inc., and last December said it would acquire Responsys Inc., which helps companies create and track Web campaigns, for $1.5 billion.

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